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A central focus of concern for AGC members working on and pursuing water infrastructure projects funded with Recovery Act dollars has been the imposition of broad-based and new "Buy American" requirements pertaining to iron, steel, and manufactured goods included in the Recovery Act. In a letter to the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee on November 4, 2009, AGC detailed continuing concerns about the impact of new expanded Buy American requirements on Recovery Act funded projects. As the volume of projects soliciting and awarding bids ramps up in 2010 with Members with inquiries about, or experiencing problems associated with Buy American as it pertains to SRF funded projects are strongly encouraged to contact your local AGC Chapter or National staff.
To date AGC has accounted for 25 project specific waivers that have been granted in addition to the 4 national waivers issued by the U.S. EPA. The vast majority of waivers approved thus far have been granted for technologies being incorporated into water treatment facilities. AGC members also need to keep in mind that there is a "di minimus" waiver that allows contractors to use non-U.S. manufactured items such as fittings, fasteners, valves, bolts and other essential items to the extent that such items constitute five percent or less of the total cost of materials and supplies incorporated into a project. Contractors should be aware that this waiver applies to all EPA SRF funded Recovery Act projects and should be utilized as necessary. USDA followed suit late last year in issuing its own "di minimus" waiver for the Rural Utilities Service infrastructure programs. It has also recently added a new project-specific waiver to the Plymouth Village, NH Water & Sewer District for the purchase of a rotary sludge dewatering press.
Click here for additional EPA information on Buy American
Click here for a spreadsheet detailing project specific waivers
Click here for a complete list of USDA and EPA waivers
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the leading association for the construction industry. AGC represents more than 26,000 firms, including over 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 10,500 service providers and suppliers are also associated with AGC, all through a nationwide network of chapters.